The Daily Tar Heel

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Monday March 27th

Faculty Council discusses salary inequities, recent vice chancellor resignation

Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz speaks during the March 11 Faculty Council meeting.
Buy Photos Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz speaks during the March 11 Faculty Council meeting.

Even when controlling for rank and tenure status, male faculty at UNC earn more on average than female faculty, Misha Becker, chairperson of the linguistics department, said at the March 11 meeting of the Faculty Council.

Also, Becker said in her presentation, white faculty earn more on average than faculty who identify as African American, Latinx, American Indian or another racial category.

The data was based on studies done in the past about salary equity among UNC faculty, conducted primarily by the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.

In addition to salary inequity, Faculty Council members discussed Vice Chancellor for Research Terry Magnuson's resignation, the appointment of Raul Reis as the next journalism school dean and the University's response to photographer Cornell Watson's "Tarred Healing" photo story.

What's new?

  • Guskiewicz said that Magnuson has accepted the mistake. Magnuson will return to his lab and role on the faculty of the UNC School of Medicine, according to a campus email sent Friday.
    • “We have high professional expectations for the integrity of all research activities carried out here at Carolina," Guskiewicz said. "The University follows a federally mandated policy regarding the review of any alleged research misconduct, and we hold everyone involved in research activity at the University to that standard."

  • Also last Friday, the University announced that Raul Reis, current dean and professor at the Emerson College School of Communication, will be the next dean of the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media.
    • “We're very excited to welcome Raul to our campus," Guskiewicz said. "He emerged through a national search that yielded several very qualified candidates who visited our campus over the past two or three months."
    • Reis will begin the role effective July 1.

  • Provost Chris Clemens discussed "Tarred Healing," a photo story by photographer Cornell Watson that was recently pulled from display at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. The photo story is a reflection of Black history through places, people and systems in Chapel Hill.
    • “Academic and artistic freedom, as you know, are at the core of our institutional values, so I was distressed when I learned last week that photographer Cornell Watson felt that his work was being censored by UNC,” he said. "This is not acceptable to me as chief academic officer."
    • Clemens was asked by Faculty Chairperson Mimi Chapman and the FEC to relay his conversation with Watson to the Faculty Council.
    • Clemens said he set up a call with Watson on March 3. He said that apologized that UNC had not given him a contract that established "who had artistic control" over the planned exhibit in the Stone Center. Clemens said this was the University's fault.
    • "I committed to (Watson) to do better in the future," he said.
    • Clemens said that Watson asked him to help secure the prints of his work that remained at the Stone Center, and Clemens said he agreed to help.
    • Watson came to South Building last week to pick up the prints, Clemens said.

  • Executive Vice Provost Ronald Strauss gave updates on the current state of COVID-19 on campus.
    • “Since the first of January ... 3,167 students at Carolina tested positive for COVID-19," he said. "There was a real problem going on and it was the omicron growth of the pandemic, but it turned out that though they tested positive, hardly any of them required any form of advanced treatment because the clinical manifestations were rather mild.”
    • According to Strauss, there has recently been a "remarkable decline" in positivity. He also noted the increase in at-home tests, meaning that campus testing facilities were being used to confirm what they likely already knew based on at-home testing.
    • The University dropped its indoor mask mandate on March 7. It has also reduced testing hours and changed the vendor that processes tests to a third-party.

  • In a presentation, Becker said salary equity remains a problem at UNC.
    • A 2019 study by the Committee on the Status of Women found that male-female salary disparities exist within almost every unit, according to the presentation.
    • "It is really a widespread problem," Becker said.
    • Moving forward, Becker said COSOW partnered with the Fixed Termed Faculty Committee and the Faculty Welfare Committee to come up with some solutions.
    • The solutions proposed focused on three areas: attention, analysis and accountability. Becker said this includes sustained attention from top University leaders and faculty, consistent salary studies, and both internal and external accountability measures.
    • "It's important for everyone to keep attention on this matter," Becker said.

Who is on the committee?

The UNC Faculty Council consists of 91 voting members with Chapman serving as the chairperson of the faculty.

What’s next?

The next Faculty Council meeting will be held on April 8 — possibly in a hybrid format — with an in-person location at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy.

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